I think we can apply a little logic here :)
What you are asking is "do I have to configure my graphics card before I can see what I'm doing"
How do they expect you to configure it when there is no screen? So we have concluded the answer is no.
Are you sure that there are no bent pins on the monitor cable? is the monitor power light on?
You will have to try the monitor on another pc, or test another monitor(vga or digital) on your graphics card.